I never thought I'd write a post on this, but after seeing some family from Venezuela over the holidays and hearing their stories, I thought I'd share one of them to help anyone reading this be just a little more thankful for the wonderfulness of the United States.
Last time I went to Venezuela was in 2005, so I have been there relatively recently but have not witnessed the country's deterioration firsthand. When I went, Caracas seemed more run down than before, crime was way up, and it seemed to me that the city had lost a bit of its old extravagance.
Well, things have gotten much worse (though I needed first hand stories to jog my memory). This isn't a post to harp on Hugo Chavez, since that's neither here nor there, but it is amazing to hear about how my aunt has to search around day after day looking for milk. The source of this pain? Government price controls and other inefficient initatives... which is proof that capitalism would be a welcome addition to the country.
Anyways, my aunt is wise in that she has stocked up milk (powdered) to last her family for what I assume will be a few months, but I could barely believe her when she told me that she has been searching almost daily since October for milk and oil, two of the basic food staples that are difficult to find in Venezuela.
Hopefully this little story will help anyone reading this post realize how good we've got it in the U.S., even if oil prices are high, milk prices are going up, etc.
To read more on Venezuelan food shortages, click here or here.
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